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March 31, 2011
Forget fitness fads,
just keep it simple
Do new exercise trends really improve fitness?
Natalie Alexander asks the experts.
BOXERCISE, dance aero-
bics, spin class, yoga
fusion. Today's physical
health trends offer consid-
erable choice beyond traditional
forms of exercise. But are these
new and ever-changing workouts
beneficial in the long-term, particu-
larly for ADF personnel?
SGT Linden Bleijie, a PTI at the
ADF Physical Training School (PTS),
said any exercise program's value
depended on an individual's needs and
"As long as the individual can still
perform at regular unit PT and func-
tion at their job, then most of these
types of extra activities are not seen as
harmful," he said.
"I would prefer someone to throw
on their Latin dancing shoes and get
out for some classes than sit around
SGT Bleijie said although new
trends offered variety and the com-
fort of exercising with like-minded
individuals, it was important to
remember that workout fads were a
way for the fitness industry to make a
"There is nothing wrong with this,
as long as people understand the moti-
vation of the company," he said.
"Training does not need to be com-
plicated or confusing, and the sim-
ple in-out principle -- healthy diet and
training or lifestyle -- will serve most
SGT Bleijie said the ADFPTS
remained focused on teaching classes
that were in the best interests of per-
sonnel and, to do so, students train-
ing to become instructors were guided
to teach functional core exercises and
techniques in a safe manner.
"We will always encourage stu-
dents to use their previous knowledge
as well as imagination when taking
classes," he said.
"There is flexibility to incorporate
different training methods into regu-
lar PT as long as they fit within the
guidelines, and are not injury-prone
SGT Bleijie said before start-
ing any fitness program, individuals
should seek advice.
"Go and speak to your local PTIs
who will be able to help you on an
individual level as they will know the
training tempo of your area," he said.
Before starting a new train-
ing regime, ask yourself:
What are my fitness
What are my motivations
for doing this form of
Have I spoken to my local
PTIs for their
Other points to remember:
Ease into a new form of
exercise -- the extra work-
load or different range of
movements can cause
aches or discomfort.
Look out for signs of over-
exercising, such as long-
term fatigue, constant
soreness or no motivation
Remember to enjoy new
Review goals to ensure a
new exercise program is
effective in building
TRAIN SMART: Although most exercise fads are better than no exercise,
PTIs can customise exercise programs to meet members' specific needs.
Photo: LSIS Paul Berry
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